Before deciding on a new physician, it’s wise to do an online search to learn more about the physician and what kind of reputation he/she has. Disgruntled patients won’t hesitate to write negative reviews, and you definitely want to know what you are getting yourself into before you decide to pay co-pays and entrust your physical well-being to a physician you don’t yet know.
Here are a few reasons it makes sense to check out your physician’s online reputation, ideally before meeting with him or her for the first time.
They might be hiding something.
According to Gravitate Online, "over 94% of users clicked on a first page result and less than 6% actually click(ed) to the second page" when reviewing search engine results. Doctors with bad reputations rely upon this, and sometimes use services to help them suppress negative feedback so that it moves past the first page of search results. So be sure to review not just the first page of results, but at least a good two or three pages for an accurate representation of the doctor’s online reputation.
They may have been sued for malpractice.
This is definitely a situation you want to avoid. Even if the doctor is still lucky enough to have a license, anyone who has been sued for malpractice is someone who should be avoided at all costs. Malpractice shows a level of dishonesty that a patient (for whom, when it comes to health, trust is essential) can’t afford to be exposed to.
You don’t want to waste money.
Co-pays and tests (that you might not need) cost money. Make sure that your doctor is credible and doesn’t charge for unnecessary processes by doing your online research before meeting.
Save money and time by doing research on your physician up front
You may find someone better in the process.
A disgruntled patient may reference an even better physician while posting a negative review about the physician you are researching. This can be helpful information to have since the other patient was potentially looking for similar services to the ones you are seeking. Referrals are always the best way to go when it comes to physicians regardless.
Learn about bedside manner.
How a physician listens and speaks to patients is critically important in building a relationship that is one of trust and that will last. You don’t want to have to bop from one physician to another to find a fit, so the more research you do up front and can garner about the physician’s bedside manner, the better.
Ideally, a personal referral is best. But even if you get a referral, you should still take the time to research your future doctor’s reputation- your friend who referred you may not have done their research and may be missing out on important and potentially negative details about the physician.
Don’t wait until you are in person to learn about a doctor’s bedside manner!
The internet is such a powerful research tool, so do take advantage of this before engaging with a physician. You could save yourself a great deal of money, time, and even pain and suffering for having done the research upfront and avoiding the wrong doctor.